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EUROMOD training course

The next training course providing a hands-on introduction to the use of EUROMOD will be held in ISER, Essex University on 20-22 March 2019.

The aim of the course is to provide academics, policy practitioners and other interested users with an introduction to the concepts, structure and functioning of EUROMOD. EUROMOD is a state-of-the art tax-benefit microsimulation model linking micro-data from household surveys and policy legislation in a single user interface. It allows for complex policy impact analysis, such as evaluations of policy reforms in terms of poverty, inequality, work incentives and government budgets, assessments of EU-wide policies or estimation of the impact of changing population characteristics on the redistributive effect of existing policies.EUROMOD covers all 28 EU Member States.

The course will cover the basics of tax-benefit microsimulation, the logic and structure behind EUROMOD, working with EUROMOD’s user interface, input data, EUROMOD’s modelling ‘language’ and using documentation. The course combines lectures with live demonstrations of the model. Participants also have the opportunity to carry out a number of hands-on exercises to test and refine their understanding of the model.

If you are interested in attending or would like more information, please complete this application form. The closing date for applications is 13 January 2019. All candidates will be informed whether their applications have been accepted by 24 January 2019.

Professor Peter Lynn on BBC Radio 4 More or Less

Our Professor of Survey Methodology discussed the recent survey of views on the Holocaust and the methods used to assess levels of Holocaust denial in the British population

Living in a state of flux: How pay insecurity affects the choices and living standards of low income families

The nature of employment is changing. Secure, life-long employment is increasingly replaced by various forms of insecure work: temporary, zero-hours contracts, bogus self-employment, and the gig economy. The number of contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours rose to 1.8 million while some five million workers are self-employed, many working in the ‘gig economy’. Even for workers on standard contracts pay can vary significantly due to bonuses, commission pay, shift work or overtime.

While pay volatility is not necessarily bad, we know from previous research that most people prefer income stability and the ability to budget and plan their finances ahead. Low earners are particularly likely to be negatively affected. They are both more likely to experience pay volatility and less likely to have savings that would allow them to cope with adverse income shocks. The safety net plays an important role by compensating workers when their pay temporarily falls. But certain features such as waiting times and badly timed assessment periods can also exacerbate income volatility.

Has pay insecurity increased recently? How do people on low incomes cope with it? Can the government reduce pay and income insecurity? What role do employment and welfare policies play in addressing pay insecurity? These and other related questions will be addressed at an event hosted by the Nuffield Foundation. Researchers from the University of Essex, University of Oxford and the Resolution Foundation will present their work on pay insecurity followed by a panel discussion.

Understanding Society Conference: Combining Biological and Social Data

This conference will give researchers the opportunity to showcase current and ongoing work based on Understanding Society biomarker, genetics and epigenetics data. Work in progress is welcome and there will be plenty of opportunities during the conference for feedback and discussion. Conference registration will open on 15 October 2018. A call for abstracts is now open and closes on 1 October 2018. See link for more details.

Epigenetics for Social Scientists

Are you interested in incorporating epigenetic data in your analyses? In this course, we will introduce epigenetic terms relevant to social science, the data available in Understanding Society, procedures to access these data and provide a worked example of the use of epigenetic data in a social science framework.

This half day workshop will consist of an introductory presentation on epigenetics, focussing on DNA methylation, followed by an overview of the data that are available in Understanding Society. We will then illustrate and conduct a simple analysis in R using data from Understanding Society in a computer practical session.

Using Neighbourhood Data in Understanding Society

Understanding Society facilitates exciting and innovative research about the UK’s society, including research into the relevance of neighbourhood and place for individual and societal wellbeing. In this introductory course, participants will gain skills in thinking about exciting research questions around “neighbourhoods” that can be addressed using Understanding Society and are equipped with the basic tool that are involved in answering them. How much neighbourhood social capital is there in Britain and what are its individual, household and neighbourhood level correlates? How has neighbourhood social cohesion changed over time, and how does this matter? Participants will learn to navigate the studies’ extensive online resources to identify relevant study content and undertake some basic types of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses in Stata. The course is open to early career and postgraduate researchers from all disciplines and policy fields.

New data released from Understanding Society

Our latest data release features eight waves of Understanding Society data, plus 18 waves of harmonised British Household Panel Survey data, following the lives of the inhabitants of thousands of UK households in our huge panel study

Introduction to Understanding Society using Stata

Understanding Society collects information about individuals and the households in which they live repeatedly at one year intervals. It includes new and innovative features to allow research across different social science disciplines. To achieve the main goals of this multipurpose survey Understanding Society has a complex sample design and consequently a complex data structure. Thus, analysing the data requires a good understanding of the general structure of the survey, the sample design and the data.This course is aimed at new users of Understanding Society, as well as those who have so far only made use of simpler aspects of the data. It aims to guide the user through the complexities of using this data for cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis, and ensure that they can make effective use of the data for their own research projects.

Gender gaps in university education and pay

In a study newly published by the European Economic Review, MiSoC researchers Matthias Parey and Marco Francesconi look at the gender gaps in pay and university education after graduation, and explore the reasons behind them

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